The task of the 2008′ national architectural students competition organized by Saint-Gobain Isover was to design
an energy efficient school.

The presented project is for a primary school with a sports hall, a canteen, a media library and specialized study halls. The main space organization is situated around a central inner forum where students spend their free time, play games, participate in extracurricular activities, use the library or celebrate all school happenings In this way the long useless corridors have disappeared and been replaced by lively common area, where all extracurricular activities are on the focus and the development of hobby and science clubs is stimulated. The school also has appropriate conditions for carrying out classes outside. Every class room on the first floor has direct access to the schoolyard, and outside sun screens protect from the overheat during hot months.

Special green gardens are situated between every couple of classrooms. They have not only a strong aesthetical effect with the vegetation and light they bring to the inner common area, but also can be used for educational purposes. In them teachers can show different species from the flora and fauna. Such an illustration is far more intriguing for the small children than traditional methods of education.

The green gardens have another very important function: they improve the energy efficiency of the building. During the winter, they are closed and ey store sun heat, which is transferred through the massive accumulative walls to the classrooms. During the summer, the regime of the gardens is different. They are open to the outside and through ventilation valves the heat from the classrooms is directed to the green gardens from where it freely comes out of the building.
Other energy efficient principles and installations that are applied in the building:

  • Southern Green Houses are used for passive heating, cooling and provision of natural light to the center of the building. Accumulative walls transfer the heat to the classroom.
  • Photovoltaic and vacuum tube solar panel for producing electricity and heating waters are placed on the roof of the Sports Hall.
  • PCM(phase change material) panels are used in the south. Aphase change material is a substance with a high heat of fusion which, melting and solidifying at certain temperature, is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy.
  • Heat pumps, fresh air underground tubes, and air/air heat exchanger are installed in the basement.
  • Piesoelectric floor under the Sports hall produces electricity when pressured. The floor uses the ability of certain materials to generate an electric potential in response to applied mechanical stress. The system is used in “The Sustainable Dance Club” in the Netherlands and can be easily applied to Sports Halls.
  • The raised middle section (the curved roof) provides ways of passive ventilation and natural lighting to the central area of the school.
  • The buildings uses triple glazing with Saint-Gobain glasses (k< 0,8) and exterior sun-shading panels. There is less glazing on the northern facade, and more on the southern facade.

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